How to Qualify for the Indiana Choice Scholarship Program

How to Qualify for the Indiana Choice Scholarship Program

The State of Indiana is one of many states across the country that is committed to providing all children equal access to quality educational opportunities. Indiana’s Choice Scholarship Program, commonly referred to as the state’s voucher program, provides scholarships to eligible Indiana students to help offset tuition costs to participating schools including many of the private schools in Indianapolis.

Students must satisfy both household income requirements and student eligibility to qualify for the program. Participating schools, including private high schools in Indianapolis, work together with interested parents to help enroll the student at the school of their choice. In this article, we’ll tell you all about how to qualify for the Indiana Choice Scholarship Program to gain admission to the Indianapolis private schools. 

What Is a School Voucher?

In essence, school vouchers give parents the freedom to choose the educational path that best suits their child’s needs. School vouchers allow parents who may not otherwise be able to afford tuition to choose private school for their children, using all or part of public funding that may be available to them. Under such a program, funds that are generally spent by a school district would be allocated to a participating family in the form of a voucher. These vouchers can then be used by the family to cover either partial or full tuition for an Indianapolis private school education, either in religious or non-religious settings.

How Do Indiana School Vouchers Work?

Established in 2011, the Choice Scholarship Program provides every Indiana student the opportunity to attend the school that best meets their educational needs by eliminating financial roadblocks that might prevent them from affording tuition at a non-public school of their choice. This includes all of the Indianapolis private schools.

To qualify for the Choice Scholarship Program, the student must be a member of a household with an annual income equal to or below 300% of the amount that qualifies for the Federal Free or Reduced Lunch Program. Income limitations vary by household size, but guidelines for the 2022-2023 school year are available here.

If your family qualifies for the program under the income guidelines, your child must then meet one of eight eligibility tracks to be approved for the Choice Scholarship Program to attend private schools in Indianapolis. First, the student must have attended two semesters in a public school for the last two semesters immediately preceding the intended start date of the Choice Scholarship. A student may also qualify under the “’F’ Public School” track, meaning the public school the child should attend based on their residency has been given an “F” grade by the state of Indiana.

Third, would be the Special Education Track.  If your student has a disability that requires special educational services and has an Individual Educational Plan (IEP), they may qualify.  The fourth is that of the Pre-K Track. If your student received an Early Education Grant, or “On My Way to Pre-K,” and is attending kindergarten at the same school they attended for preschool, they could qualify for the Choice Scholarship Program. 

The fifth track makes private education, including private high school in Indianapolis, available to children in foster care. In the sixth track, siblings of a student that received a Choice Scholarship or an SGO Scholarship in a previous year, including a school year that does not immediately precede the school year for which the student is applying for a Choice Scholarship may qualify.

The final two pathways include a previous Scholarship Granting Organization (SGO) track, which allows those who received a SGO Scholarship in a previous school year to qualify.  While the final pathway is for those who have previously received a Choice Scholarship. 

How Much Is a Voucher for Private Schools in Indiana?

Vouchers in the State of Indiana can be worth up to 90% of the state per-student spending amount for the sending school district. On average in the state, it is worth $4,781 and can be supplemented by additional public funds. Central Christian Academy works closely with families to keep tuition costs low and affordable.

To give an example of cost, take a third-grade Indiana public school student who would enroll at CCA.  With a base tuition of $7,300 and a voucher valued at $6708, the family pays only $592 a year for a superior private education. On top of that, CCA also offers need-based assistance that can further reduce that amount.

Interested in a Private Education for Your Child?

Central Christian Academy wants you in our family. Contact us today for more information on voucher programs and other affordable ways to get your child a private school education.